MrsDrWho asked for something over the top for her morning tea turn. I think this qualifies. It took a long time to make: all day. There is a lot of heating things up and then waiting for them to cool right down again. There are a lot of stages, but taken one at a time they are all very simple.
I can't use any nuts in my baking for MrsDrWho's school, so I used a Flake instead of a Picnic bar, but you could use any chocolate bar you fancied. The cake is filled with ganache and caramel spread. I was too tired to make a caramel so I used Top'n'Fill, which is caramel condensed milk. If I used a Cherry Ripe bar I would use some tinned or fresh cherries for example. It is a cake ready for creative baking.
I have it on excellent authority that the cake is still delicious and perfectly fine on the third day. This first picture is from the magazine, SuperFood Ideas. MrsDrWho kindly took a few photos at morning tea, but it is a bit much to ask for lots of shots of cake on a plate in the middle of a fraught recess. Teachers are lucky to get a lunch hour so I'm loath to interrupt recess.
It is an expensive cake to make, mainly because of the amount of chocolate involved and I do try and buy the best other people can afford. In all you will need 360g of good dark chocolate and 440g of milk chocolate too. Based on their estimate of $1-44 for each of the 20 serves it would cost $28-80 to make. I think that I managed to make it for a cheaper price, because I had the basics already in my pantry.
If you want a swish cake for a special occasion, I can highly recommend the Chocolate on Chocolate Cake.
Chocolate on Chocolate Cake serves 20
- 250g butter, chopped
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3/4 cup water
- 180g dark chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten together
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
- 1/4 cup Dutch cocoa
- 1 x 30g Flake or 45g Picnic bar, chopped or crumbled
- 1/2 cup caramel spread or Top'n'Fill
- 2 extra Flakes or Picnic bars for decorating the top
- 440g milk chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup thickened cream
- 180g dark chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 cup thickened cream
Put the butter, milk, water, dark chocolate and both sugars into a saucepan over a medium heat. Keep an eye on it, as chocolate can easily catch on the bottom of the pan. Stir regularly for about 10 minutes until everything is dissolved and smoothly melted together.
Pour into a large bowl and set aside to cool completely. Sift together the flours and cocoa.
When the chocolate mixture is cool, whisk in the beaten eggs and the sifted flours and cocoa. Preheat the oven to 160*C or 140*C fan-forced oven.
Grease a 22cm, or 9 inch, spring-form tin. Line it with two layers of baking paper on the base and sides. I made sure the paper was peeping up above the rim of the tin. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. I rotated the tin half way through, and my cake needed another 10 minutes. I was extremely careful that the cake didn't burn. A skewer poked into the centre of the cake should come out clean and dry. It matters not a jot if the top of the cake cracks, as it will be covered with ganache. Now the cake must cool completely in the tin. This may take several hours. Do not despair.
While the cake is cooling make the two types of ganache: milk and dark. They both follow this same method: gently heat the cream in a pan until it comes to the boil, then add the chopped milk or dark chocolate and stir with a metal spoon until the chocolate melts and the ganache is smooth. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes. It should be quite thick, but of a spreading consistency. If it sets too hard you can generally use a metal spoon to incorporate it back into the softer mixture in the centre.
You can also make ganache in the microwave, but I find I have more control using a pan on the stove.
When the cake is completely cool, prepare the serving platter.
I like to swirl a little of the ganache on the platter before I put the cake on it. It helps the cake stay in place.
Using a knife with a long blade, cut the cake into two relatively equal layers. I put my 2 layers side by side: the base on the serving platter and the top layer cut side up, on another plate. I try not to rotate the layers so that they match up when I put them back together. I used some strips of baking paper, inserted between the cake and the platter, to protect the platter from my many spills and mistakes. Just before the cake is served, you remove the paper and your serving plate is nice and clean.
Spread about 1/3 of the milk chocolate ganache on top of the base of the cake and then swirl in whichever kind of caramel you are using. Then scatter on one Flake or Picnic bar. Put the second layer on top and press gently and evenly so they bond.
Use the rest of the milk ganache to ice the sides. I spread it sparingly around the cake, and then a little over the top. Then I used any remaining to add to the sides and I swooshed upwards with my knife blade and the back of my spoon.
Finally spoon and swirl the dark chocolate ganache over the top of the cake and then decorate with the remaining chocolate bars.
If it is warm, keep the cake in the fridge. Here in Winter it was fine in MrsDrWho's pantry. Just before serving, whisk away the baking paper protecting the platter and use a hot butter knife to repair any ganache that may have come away.
Wow, there you go. A mammoth effort, but broken up into manageable steps, very achievable.
And as Cookie Monster would say, this cake is a sometimes food.